In many households, going back to school means that busy schedules and school supplies need to be figured out, and so do snacks. Whether they’re packed in the lunchbox or eaten after school, kids snacks have a reputation for being not so healthy. The good news is that healthy snack swaps that taste great are easy to make. And guess what – you’ll like these snacks, too! As part of my Healthy Eating as a Family series, check out my picks for healthy snack swaps for kids and adults.

Instead of Cookies

Try energy bites. They taste like cookie dough but the right recipe packs protein, fiber, healthy fats, and not too much sugar. Here are a couple recipes you might like, no baking required.

Almond Joy Energy Bites

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Balls

Instead of Goldfish Crackers or Cheez-Its

Try a reduced fat cheddar cheese stick and Triscuits. The bright orange color and bite-sized cheesy goodness makes Goldfish the quintessential kid food, but they’re basically empty calories. Triscuits are made from 100% whole wheat, offering some fiber, and real cheese offers protein and calcium.

Instead of Chicken Nuggets

Try a turkey roll-up. Roll up a slice of turkey with some veggies and mustard and you’ve got yourself a savory snack without all the greasiness of most chicken nuggets. For inspiration, take a look at Ellie Krieger’s recipe for Turkey Roll-Ups.

Instead of Carrots and Ranch Dressing

Try carrots and hummus. Hummus beats out ranch dressing as it offers healthy fats, protein, fiber, and even folate.

Instead of French Fries

Try baked sweet potato fries. Replacing fried potatoes with baked sweet potatoes means less fat and starch, plus fiber, Vitamins A and C and potassium!

Instead of Candy

Try trail mix. Trader Joe’s makes a variety of trail mixes so you’re bound to find one you like, such as Happy Trekking: Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Chocolate, Cranberries & Cherries. You can also make your own trail mix to suit your taste. This website offers 10 different healthy trail mix recipes, so you’re bound to find one you like whether you prefer your trail mix sweet, savory, spicy, or something in between.

Instead of Chips

Try popcorn. Did you know popcorn is a 100% whole grain snack? You can buy it in the store, brands like Boomchickapop and Skinny Pop. Or you can make your own in the air popper and flavor it with garlic, rosemary, nutritional yeast, or cinnamon, just to name a few.

Instead of Pop Tarts

Try protein pancakes. Make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for an easy and satisfying breakfast or snack. This protein pancake recipe is simple and easy with only a few ingredients and you can customize it with your favorite fruit or nut.

Instead of a Granola Bar

Try finding a healthier granola bar or making your own. The problem with a lot of granola bars in the store is that that resemble candy bars more than anything else. There are some granola bars that are better, meaning that they are lower in sugar and contain more fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Some granola bars that are likely to meet this criteria are KIND, Larabar, and Health Warrior Chia Bars, but there are so many varieties and flavors of each that it always pays to check the nutrition label. You can also save the money and excess packaging and make your own granola bars. Below are a couple of recipes I picked to get you started.

Honey-Sweetened Almond Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

I hope this information will inspire you and help you and your family to have a healthy, happy school year. Stay blessed!